SERIOUS THREAT TO THE FISHING COMMUNITY
Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:09 PM
As for the Kevin Lewis report. I read that one a long time ago. I don’t know Kevin, but I do appreciate the time he spent on research. However, it is obvious he is no expert, but just a concerned a citizen who also is trying to justify signing a lease.
This became obvious when he mentions the case of a gas well leak that caused cancer-causing toluene to enter a drinking water supply. He questioned if the levels were only a little over the allowable limits or a lot, implying that a little toluene isn’t all that bad. So does that mean it’s OK if you get just a little cancer?
He also says that pollutants that evaporate in the air from settling ponds are somehow better than those that wind up in drinking water. So breathing them in isn’t as bad as drinking them in?
Then he said he is unconcerned about habitat fragmentation that would be caused by road/infrastructure building because it is not an issue (clearly he doesn’t understand what habitat fragmentation is or why it is important). He says that these disturbances would be only temporary and things (trees, mostly) would return over time. That’s like polluting a trout river and having just carp return, but being OK with that because carp and trout are both fish.
Those were just a few things that jumped out at me.
Gotta go to my Christmas Pary... Have a nice weekend.
Fellas, three more days to sign…
Posted 12 December 2008 - 06:21 PM
I'm just providing information for those who may want to understand the whole subject, not just a segment.
Focus on the information provided. Is it accurate or not. If not, then please provide verifiable information contradicting the content of the article.
Posted 12 December 2008 - 07:58 PM
This is what Mr. Lewis wrote:
“…a drilling rig hit an extremely high-pressured gas pocket at about 8,500 feet. The gas shot up the well with enough force that it blew out a weak spot in the side of the well casing (underground). In this episode, one water well on an adjacent property was affected and it has tested above EPA limits for toluene. As in case #1, the article did not say what the exact toluene levels were. Were they way above the limit or just slightly above?”
My question is: does it really matter at that point???? It’s above the limit for a known carcinogen!!! Would you let your kids drink that water??? What would you tell them – “it’s OK, kids, it’s only slightly carcinogenic.” Sheesh!!
Three more days, fellas, three more days.
Posted 14 December 2008 - 12:55 PM
Gas companies, farmers, land owners, city folks and anglers.
Nobody is immune.
I have seen some of these reports in mainstream newspapers also.
The media is biased, and so are we.
Mistakes will be made, no matter which way it goes.
I have made myself a promise to die happy, its' the best I can do.
But, while I am waiting, I found this article to be very interesting:
http://www.propublic... ... plies-1113
Posted 14 December 2008 - 11:46 PM
Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:16 AM
I have not signed a lease and do not plan to in the near future. I also think that trying to condemn private property with hysteria and misinformation is not the American way.
The production water will not be processed through local plants. To much brine for these facilities to handle. Although they may use the water from the waste treatment facilities for drilling and fracing.
Posted 10 January 2009 - 12:54 PM
What I don't understand is why the respective Gas Company is not responsible for treating the waste water and meeting whatever environmental guidelines for discharge. Pushing it off to other states and in some cases municipal water treatment plants to deal with seems like it's bypassing the legal liability for the end product.
I also have read there are portable treatment options but the Gas Companies do not want to be involved with their own waste. Other than to spend the money to get rid of it onto someone else and legislate against further regulation. Keep in mind the main treatment method is to just mix it for dilution with the normal discharge water of the treatment plant to meet limits. Nothing is really removed.
I suspect this door for interstate transport of said waste will be closed soon.
This isn't the article but along the same lines.
Posted 11 January 2009 - 12:31 AM
Water is not just diluted at these plants. They are processed so that heavy metals and other minerals are taken out including salt, some of it has been used to salt roads after testing it for contaminants. There is to much brine to just dilute it.
The DEP is looking into closed loop requirements as well as evaporation using the gas from the wells on sight.
Right now there is a consortium of gas companies as well as funding from the Feds looking into water management and waste disposal tecniques specifically for the Applicachia basin.
There is time because right now the pipeline infrastruction in PA is not set up to deliver the gas to market, the gas companies are just now getting into the permit process to expand pipeline capacilty, and the DEP is going to slow things down until they can figure out what to do with the large quantities of prodcution water.
Remember this is in its infancy and you have about 3-8 years before everything is in place to actually help the NE with its energy problems.
All these issues are being worked out now so the future will look brighter for everyone and energy independence can be realized. Natural gas is the ideal bridge between fossil fuels and renewable energies.
Posted 11 January 2009 - 05:24 PM
Even if you're not a member, you can view the article here:
It doesn't paint a very rosy picture of drilling in the Marcellus Shale.
Personally, I do not object to drilling -- with the caveats that it is done in a rational way, with public input, heavy federal, state and local regulation and oversight, with strong environmental protections.
One way to ensure rules and regulations are followed is to make drilling companies put up substantial bonds before the first well is drilled.
Anyone who wants to see with their own eyes the destruction that mining and drilling can have on trout streams can drive a couple hundred miles west to south central Pennsylvania.
There 'yellow boy' mine acid drainage chokes once-fertile trout streams and rivers -- 2,500 miles of PA streams have been damaged by mine acid.
And in north central PA, the Allegheny National Forest has been turned into a pincushion with thousands upon thousands of shallow gas wells drilled there in the past decade or so.
I realize the PA wells are different than the deep wells that would be drilled here in NY, but the access roads and other damage could be similar.
Take a look at this Sierra Club report:
http://www.sierraclu... ... s/0371.asp
So in short -- proceed with caution on gas drilling. Make sure it's safe and it protects our forests and streams, which are irreplacable.
Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:21 AM
The Marcellus wells will more then likely be horizontal. In NY they are required to drill horizontals on a one square mile unit, 640 acres. They will have one drill pad with multiple wells from that pad. This limits impact on the enviroment, one road in one pad. NY has some of the strictest environmental laws in the nation.
The TU article is a me too article not much substance. I have read many articles just like that one. I'm waiting for a paper that has all the facts and data that can verify all these claims and clarify the issues. To date have have not seen any from these groups, just rehashed and repackaged information available on line from any one of several groups. There are differnt drilling technics for different plays and its unfortunate that some groups lump these into one group and chastise all who might support it.
I believe drilling with adequate oversight can be done in a responsible way, you just have to get past the hysteria and half truths about drilling. I believe we must protect the water and I also believe that the gas companies will comply to the demands that our aquifiers be kept clean.
Until I see these anti-drilling groups riding bicycles their words ring hollow.
Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:34 PM
There also was a home well explosion near willamsport recently that they suspect was due to gas infiltration from adjacent property frac drilling. I am not against drilling but I truely believe the gas companies should be responsible for all waste water treatment like every other industry in the state. The solutions for treatment and disposal should have come first. Not after the drilling is ramping up.
Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:07 AM
Who is "they suspect" the only people that suspect the gas drilling is the lady that owns the house. The DEP and the gas companiy are running tests to see what caused it, so far no natural gas had been detected. Don't jump to conclusions based on incomplete information. Wait for the facts before passing judgement.
Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:18 AM
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Dept. of Environmental Protection
Commonwealth News Bureau
Room 308, Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, PA 17120
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: (717) 787-1323
DEP, DRILLING INDUSTRY CREATE PARTNERSHIP TO EXPLORE NEW WASTEWATER TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES
Department Improves, Strengthens Permitting Process
HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection and the natural gas drilling industry have launched a partnership to explore innovative methods to treat wastewater generated from oil and gas well drilling operations in the commonwealth. Working with the partnership, the department will develop a technology-based standard for total dissolved solids in oil and gas wastewater, to protect rivers and streams. The partnership met for the first time today in Harrisburg.
“The oil and natural gas extraction process generates brine and wastewater that can contain high concentrations of salt and total dissolved solids that are diluted and discharged into surface waters after treatment to remove pollutants,” said Environmental Protection acting Secretary John Hanger. “The department is committed to working along side the drilling industry to develop new treatment technologies to treat this wastewater that will allow our natural gas industry and our economy to thrive while protecting the health of our rivers and streams.”
Pennsylvania’s streams must assimilate total dissolved solids, or TDS, from a variety of wastewater sources besides oil and gas well drilling. The primary sources of these pollutants are stormwater runoff and pollutant discharges from industrial and sewage treatment plants.
Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams are also burdened by uncontrolled discharges from abandoned coal mines. Some streams already burdened with large TDS loads could reach their limits from the additional demand created by new well drilling activity.
The combination of fluctuating energy prices and Pennsylvania’s proximity to the major population centers of the northeast has created an oil and gas drilling boom in the commonwealth. DEP has issued a new record 7,792 drilling permits in 2008 with more than 4,100 wells drilled in regions throughout the state.
The partnership was formed as a result of an increasing demand for the treatment and disposal of brine and other wastewater generated from traditional and Marcellus Shale drilling operations. Its goal is to limit surface water discharges from wastewater treatment plants by encouraging the reuse of frac water, locating geologic formations capable of safe deep underground wastewater disposal, and evaluating new and emerging technologies for treating the remaining wastewater. By reusing the frac water, the industry’s demand for fresh water withdrawals will decrease. “The rivers and streams of Pennsylvania have a very limited ability to absorb some of the additional wastewater created from the increased development of the Marcellus Shale formation. Additional wastewater treatment facilities and methods will be necessary to accommodate the increased volumes of wastewater from these drilling activities,” Hanger added.
The drilling industry and DEP have agreed to develop a long-term strategy for permitting treatment facilities by identifying constituents of concern based on sample well data. This standard will be developed with input from the technology partnership and the public through the department’s public participation process.
The partnership is the latest process established by the department to improve the regulatory process and reduce permit processing times. The department is also developing a permit-by-rule for earthmoving and construction which will reduce the permit review time from 150 days to 30 days by requiring best management practices and the extra environmental protection measure of vegetated buffers. To qualify for permit by rule, applicants must:
• Provide public notice and specific notice to the municipality;
• Satisfy local stormwater ordinances and get a letter confirming consistency;
• Have a certified professional engineer or professional geologist develop and seal the Erosion Control Plan and Post Construction Stormwater Control Plans;
• Include vegetated buffers for added stream protection; and
• Utilize BMPs described and included in the BMP manual.
In addition, revisions to the department’s permit review process encourage the withdrawal of water from streams during high-flow conditions, providing added protection to the water resources. In response to the increased demand for staff to review permits and inspect sites, DEP has begun to hire additional staff which will be supported by permit application fee increases which were approved by the Environmental Quality Board in December. For more information, visit http://www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Oil and Gas.
Posted 22 January 2009 - 11:46 PM
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